Obesity and injury in the National Hospital Morbidity Database

8 May 2013

This report studies the feasibility of using the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD) to investigate the relationship between obesity and hospitalised injury in Australia.

It concludes that the NHMD does not currently provide a reliable basis for measuring obesity among admitted patients, nor to assess the characteristics of injury cases with obesity. Importantly, the data do not identify most records in which the patient is obese . The set of cases that can be identified on the basis of having code E66 is likely to misrepresent patterns of healthcare utilisation for obese patients generally and may not be large enough for certain types of analysis. If measurement of obesity among admitted patients is required, then coding and the availability of data need addressing.

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